Snap shares soar as user growth, revenue beat

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Snapchat has reported surging growth in users and revenue in its latest quarter, reviving hopes that it can compete with Facebook's Instagram and sending its shares up more than 20%.

Snap said fourth-quarter sales jumped 72 per cent to $285.7 million (U.S.), beating the $252.8-million average projection of analysts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Confidence the two would be able to coexist across the social media industry was shaken after the user growth of Snapchat stalled during 2017. The company had revenue of $207.90 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $236.71 million.

It accomplished both feats while losing less money than expected.

Essentially, Snap's implementation of Do Not Disturb is similar to what we see from other services like Facebook and Messenger.

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"Our business really came together towards the end of previous year". Spiegel said the rollout of the new design will be complete in March.

Liu said that the company is making changes to the app due to pressure from Wall Street to grow its user base, but broadening the appeal - even Spiegel has admitted Snapchat is hard to figure out - could risk alienating its younger users. "It could also be a great opportunity for marketers to reach and engage their audiences with well-targeted promoted content, while positively impacting Snapchat's bottom line". The company booked a net loss of $350 million for the quarter.

Snap's flagship mobile app, Snapchat, added 8.9 million daily active users in the fourth quarter of 2017 ended December 31. That would also put Snap's yearly sales at $793 million, nearly double the $404 million it brought in in 2016.

Boosted by holiday demand from advertisers, average revenue per user - a key metric for investors - was up 46 per cent year on year to $1.53. In November, Snapchat unveiled a redesign that separated out peer-to-peer interaction and curated/professional content.

That's in part because 90 percent of Snapchat's ads are now bought through the programmatic Ads API and self-serve Ads Manager interfaces rather than through sales people, versus 10 percent a year before.

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Still, being a niche advertising platform, rather than a valid third player to Google and Facebook, is a rut Snap can't seem to extricate itself from. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC increased its stake in Snap by 967.3% during the fourth quarter.

Snapchat also reported its full-year 2017 revenues were 102% up on 2016. And while its user growth has slowed, the company hadn't made that a priority just yet.

It is obvious that the strength of Snapchat came from a developed and strong world that focuses on the users. A drop in quality takes users' attention elsewhere and Snapchat is now facing that challenge.

Despite the improvements made on the platform towards the end of 2017, Snapchat's ad product offerings need to improve to measure up to its competitors. "Snapchat will face another huge growth barrier in 2018 if they continue to only open its API to a selected number of brands".

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